Italian payments processor SIA has set in motion plans for a stock market listing on Borsa Italiana before the year-end.
Confirmation of the IPO plans came as the company reported 15.4% growth in revenues for 2015 to €388.8 million and a 21% spike in net profit to €73 million.
SIA's business operations span the wholesale and retail markets. In 2015, the group handled the overall settlement of 9.9 billion transactions, 3.3 billion card transactions and 2.8 billion payment transactions relating to credit transfers and collections. On the financial markets, the number of trading and post-trading transactions rose to 41.7 billion from the 30.2 billion of 2014, an increase of 38%.
The company expects to sell the majority of its capital in the listing on the MTA markets in Milan.
With ebitda at €116.6 million for 2015 and assuming a mid-range multiple valuation at 13 times earnings, the sale could fetch up to €1.5 billion.
State-backed fund Fondo Strategico Italiano (FSI) agreed to pay SIA's banking owners €204 million and provide €77 million in debt financing for a 42.3% stake back in 2013. A further 10.3% was parcelled out to infrastructure fund F2i. FSI has since raised its holding to 49.48%, with the remaining shares held by a small group of banks and asset managers.
Nothing is yet set in stone. In a statement, the company says: "The details of the structure of the offering, the means, the terms and the conditions of the listing will be evaluated and decided in subsequent meetings in accordance with the wishes expressed by the shareholders of the company."